Sleeping Bunny

Reviews of the Book
Orange County Register, April 6, 2003

Enchanting describes this book perfectly. First, it is the retold story of "Sleeping Beauty" with the eight fairies who bring enchantments good and bad as gifts to the infant princess. In addition, the illustrations, rich in the colors of medieval illuminations, are full of enchantment and rich detail. They deserve their own careful "reading". The book is populated with creatures from the animal kingdom. Bunnies portray the royal creatures. Tiny pigs with realistic butterfly wings are good fairies, while Mildew, the crankiest fairy, is a glaring green rat with bony claws and slitty red eyes. Bits of humor are tucked into the illustrations, such as the family crest that features crossed carrots over a snail. The illustrator is a decorative artist who also designs paper products and greeting cards. The storyteller is her daughter, a freelance writer who shares her mother's passion for children's literature. She has written books, articles, and educational web sites.
Nancy Polette's Children's Literature Site
Last updated: Sunday, June 29, 2003

A beautifully illustrated tongue-in-cheek retelling of a favorite tale. In this retelling, Beauty becomes Bunny, the fairies are a rainbow of winged piglets, and the prince is a glorious hare in golden armor.
Salt Lake Tribune
SUNDAY March 02, 2003

Emily Snowell Keller puts a twist on a beloved tale with Sleeping Bunny, illustrated by Pamela Silin-Palmer (Random House; $15.95). Aside from turning the doomed princess and her family into rabbits and the fairies into pigs (except for the bad fairy, who is a rat -- hmmm, should have been a clue), Keller sticks closely to the familiar in her retelling. Silin-Palmer's bright oils fairly hop off the page.
Reddick Library, Canada
Ms. Loris¹ Picks, April 2003
Sleeping Bunny

This month's pick for the elementary set is just a little bit different from past picks as it is a familiar story. It is the retelling of the Sleeping Beauty fairy tale. Kids are never too old for fairy tales and this one is so beautifully illustrated that it is an absolute treat for the eyes. The story has been changed to include a royal family of bunnies but the premise of the story is the same as the legendary tale. Treat your child and yourself to a timeless fairy tale where true love and goodness once again prevails. The Bunny family makes it a great choice for Easter time too!
Northeast Massachusetts Regional Library System
Reviewer's Name: Jane Johnson, Topsfield
Date of Review: 2/14/03
Rating: **** Excellent

This is a delightful tongue-in-cheek remaking of Sleeping Beauty. Instead of people, the tale is about bunnies. After the baby bunny is born they have a grand party. Alas, one fairy was not invited because they only had 7 gold plates. The 8th fairy was so angry she cast a spell on the baby and said she would prick her finger and die when she turned 15. Fortunately the 7th fairy hadn't made a wish yet so she changed the spell into sleeping for 100 years instead of dying. The prince rescues her and they all wake up and pick up with the party. One sentence on the last page deserves high marks for rewording a pat ending. The sentence is: "Princess Bunny and her Prince grew to truly love each other and eventually decided to marry." This is such a much more realistic ending. Not only is the story enchanting but the rabbit's costumes in medieval vintage are breath-taking. They are very detailed and just exquisite. A must have!!!
Emery-Pratt - Newsletter
Issue No. 1, 2003

Pamela Silin-Palmer and her daughter Emily Snowell Keller bring their talents to this retelling of Sleeping Beauty, showcasing Ms. Silin-Palmer's fabulous paintings of animals dressed in costumes. As always, the illustrations are filled with detail, rendered both impeccably and with lots of quirky humor. Where else can you find piggies with butterfly wings as fairy godmothers? The text maintains the humor all the way to "hoppily ever after."
Orange County Register, April 6, 2003

This amusing take on the Sleeping Beauty fairy tale features a beautiful princess, handsome prince, and regal king and queen, all dressed in medieval finery. The twist? They're rabbits [and very good-looking ones, at that] in SLEEPING BUNNY, retold by Emily Snowell Keller, illustrated by Pamela Silin-Palmer [Random House, $15.95, 40 pages, ages 4 and up]. The silly fun extends to all the characters: The fairies invited to bestow good wishes upon infant Princess Bunny are tiny, winged piglets; the evil fairy who casts the familiar prick-her-finger-on-a-spindle curse is an ugly, greenish rat; and the royal courtiers are frogs and mice. The lavish, richly hued illustrations are loaded with sparkles, strawberries, and lush pile of flowers. There are even jokes for adults: The royal coat of arms bears the Latin motto "Carpe Carotae" [Sieze, Carrots!]. It's good fun for all ages.
Storknet's Children's Bookshelf
( c.)

....This is one of the most beautiful children's books that has come across my desk! With my grandson sitting on my lap, I opened the pages and we immediately entered a world of fairy dust, flying pigs, scampering mice, glorious sunflowers, majestic frogs, bright-eyed rats, rainbows, dragonflies, flower-garlands...and a story to match! Each page invited us to find little animals and magical fairies, search for the moon or rainbows, and talk about the flowers, and of course Bunny and her fate. I laughed, as, of course, other adults will , when I read that the mean fairy, named Mildew, was not invited because the bunny family did not have enough china. Politically correct for this time, the Prince and Princess bunnies first grew to love each other before marrying. And, of course, lived hoppily ever after!
Easter Book Parade
c. 2003 Los Angeles Daily News
April 18,2003

Sleeping an age -old story with just a "hare" of a difference: Sleeping Bunny [Random House, $16.] is the story of Sleeping Beauty, retold with a funny twist by Emily Snowell Keller. Here Beauty...oops, Bunny... is, well, sporting long ears and paws, but her fate remains the same, doomed to wait for the kiss of her bunny prince.
As much a book about gorgeous illustrations, artist Pamela Silin-Palmer gives costume and expression to her bunny characters; and as for those all-important fairies...they're pigs! A fun, humorous, and visually entertaining book.
by Linda Hutchinson, staff writer

BY Janis Campbell
...Renaissance- style paintings with bunnies are masterpieces in the fairy-tale art of SLEEPING BUNNY, illustrated by Pamela Silin-Palmer [Random House, $ 15.95]; The story, retold by the illustrator's daughter, Emily Snowell Keller, fits fine with bunnies in all the main roles...
The Midwest Book Review Children's Bookwatch - March 2003

Emily Snowell Keller's SLEEPING BUNNY follows up on the author's last picture book with another rabbit-oriented re-telling of a favorite fairy tale. Here the characters appear as animals dressed in Medieval clothing, and Beauty becomes Bunny, admired by a crowd of winged piglets. The drawings by Pamela Silin-Palmer are exquisite and parents will want to consider this for read-aloud enjoyment.

"This book makes a gorgeous cornerstone for this year's Easter basket. The illustrations are so gorgeous I'm tempted to rip them out and frame them, and the story is a lyrical adaptation of Sleeping Beauty."
[March 2003]

This lavishly illustrated version of "Sleeping Beauty" features a straightforward retelling spiced with a few amusing surprises, a cast of animal characters dressed in full medieval regalia, and sumptuous paintings that strike just the right balance between romance and humor. The King, his Queen, the Princess, and her hero are depicted as long-limbed, statuesque rabbits, all elegantly draped in silks and velvets and bedecked in shimmering jewels. Dressed in costumes that evoke the various flowers for which they are named, the good fairies are tiny pigs that hover on butterfly wings and sometimes take butterfly form. Mildew, "the eighth and crankiest fairy", who is not invited to Princess Bunny's birthday celebration for lack of enough place settings, makes an appropriately jarring appearance as a neon-green rat with razor teeth and bat wings. The dramatic spreads are filled with lush visual details, vibrant colors, and fluid lines. The tone remains lighthearted, as tongue-in-cheek touches in the artwork and in the storytelling reassure readers that all will be well. In fact, a "hoppily ever after" future is guaranteed when Mildew appears at Princess Bunny's wedding with a gift of "eight golden plates". While those familiar with the tale will enjoy the whimsy of SLEEPING BUNNY , this story also makes a great choice for younger readers who may not be ready for more traditional versions, such as those illustrated by Trina Schart Hyman [Little, Brown 1977] and K.Y. Craft [SeaStar 2002].
Joy Fleishhacker Review, Sleeping Bunny

It is the illustrations that are paramount in SLEEPING BUNNY, a rabbitized version of that classic story. Pamela Silin-Palmer, whose gorgeous paintings made BUNNY AND THE BEAST so outstanding, here collaborates with her daughter, writer Emily Snowell Keller, on a book that brings smiles and wonderment in equal measure. The inside front cover, before the story even starts, is a perfect example of the artist's technique: The fairies here are a rainbow of amusing winged piglets [think "when pigs fly"], but the magic they work amid realistically drawn animals and insects is utterly gorgeous. Even the simplest drawings, such as the one of Princess Bunny approaching the room with the spindle, are full of exquisite detail and wonderful use of color and shadow. Bottom line: this is a book to cherish.
BookList - Jan. 1, 2003

Sleeping Beauty becomes a sleeping bunny in this lavish re-imagining of the familiar fairy tale. Keller follows the traditional story, but rabbit touches abound --- right down to the spinning wheel pricking the princess' velvety paws. Other animals populate the kingdom as well: the fairy godmothers are pigs --except for the bad fairy, who is a rat. Silin-Palmer, a decorative artist who has designed everything from paper products to fantasy furniture, puts her skills to good use in luxurious illustrations touched by swirls and whirls of gold, and executed in Renaissance-like style. The story highlights the romance; the prince, decked out in golden armour, fights through a tangle of golden roses to get to his sleeping lady-love and wake her with a kiss. Not an essential purchase, but a lush and lovely one.
Ilene Cooper

HIPPITY-HOPPITY BOOKS FOR THE SEASON: Sleeping Bunny [Random House}, retold by Emily Snowell Keller is an adaptation of one our favorite fairy tales. Rabbit King and his Queen have a baby. Just like the original story, she pricks her finger on a spindle when she is fifteen, and she and the kingdom fall fast asleep for 100 years. The palace is soon covered by brambles and a thorn hedge. Rabbit Prince, bewitched by the idea of finding Sleeping Bunny, goes on an adventure and searches the kingdom to find her. For children 3 to 8.
by Christine Raynes
Long Beach Press-Telegram - Mar 29, 2003

The author retells the familiar story of Sleeping Beauty, this time with a rabbit as the main character.There really isn't much new in the retelling other than animals play the main characters. The illustrations, however, are richly detailed and sure to keep fans of romantic stories entranced for hours.
David Ross/ Childrens' Library
Kirkus Reviews - Nov. 15, 2002

Another retold fairy tale from the illustrator of BUNNY AND THE BEAST [2001], this time in collaboration with her daughter, Emily Snowell Keller, finds Sleeping Beauty with a mostly bunny cast -- that is, except for the fairies, who are pigs with wings, and a few other beasts who are courtiers. Keller tells the classic tale with wry and sly humor. At the beginning, the rabbit king and queen long for what is missing in their lives: "a baby bunny [ which was highly unusual in their family! ]" At the very end, the bad fairy, Mildew, the rat whose spinning wheel offers the paw prick, presents Bunny and her Prince with eight golden dishes so she won't make the same mistake as her parents in leaving a fairy out, and " everyone lived hoppily ever after." Silin-Palmer designs fabric and ceramics, among other things, and has clearly studied the work of Dutch flower painter Jan van Huysun: her dark backgrounds and gorgeous, naturalistic flowers bedeck every image. Roses and butterflies, sunflowers and foxglove glow from the pages. Princess Bunny and her family wear more-or-less medieval royal garb that has a shimmer of its own. Really fun, if rather silly.
{picture book/fairy tale. 4 to 7}
Publishers Weekly - November 25, 2002

Ornate illustrations enchant in this humorous fairy-tale adaptation. Silin-Palmer [Bunny and the Beast] once again casts long-legged rabbits dressed in billowing raiment in the starring roles; the gift-giving fairies are winged pigs, while a red-eyed, green-skinned rat takes the role of the excluded vengeful fairy, Mildew. Keller, the illustrator's daughter, alters the traditional plot only slightly. She throws in some groaners [everyone lives "hoppily" ever after] but also supplies an imaginative and witty twist at the end. Most of the comic relief comes in the elegantly elaborate paintings, both from the incongruousness of Silin-Palmer's majestically bedecked animals and from the occasional joke [ a coat of arms features crossed carrots and bears the inscription "carpe carotae"]. The sustained whimsy of the artwork, from the sumptuous settings to the lush floral borders dotted with birds and butterflies, will please readers who like their fairytales served up with all the trimmings.
All ages.
January release.

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